British pair in artificial coma after Dakar Rally wreck

Suffering from pulmonary problems, Paul Green and co-driver Matthew Harrison, of the Rally Raid UK team were taken to hospital in Santa Rosa and placed in an artificial coma – thought to approximate to heavy sedation – in a bid to speed up their recovery. Organizers said it was expected they would be brought out of the coma on Thursday.

Juan Enemeterio, chief doctor of the Hospital Modelo of Santa Rosa's intensive care unit, said: "Green took a heavy blow to the thorax and the spinal column. There are hopes of recovery, but we'll wait 24 hours to see whether he can be moved to Buenos Aires. He is connected to a respirator, and his condition is serious."

Harrison remains in an induced coma, having also suffered a thorax injury.

Their accident was the first major incident in the 9,500km off track rally which covers large tracts of Argentina and Chile. The race has been switched from Africa following security fears in North Africa which caused last year's race to be cancelled.

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